D2L Colin's reply on the matter:
Okay, so I'm going to try to end this before the pitchforks are as sharp as samurai swords! The community seems eager to know exactly what has happened with LGD and why it was that we initially decided to replace them at the D2L finals. Here's the scoop and here's what we've decided:
Firstly, about four weeks ago (December 2nd), we were informed that both Vici Gaming and LGD needed visa support letters provided by the D2L in order to encourage the Chinese government to allow their visas to be approved for entry into the U.S. for the tournament. Some of the players did not have active visas and needed to apply. Not a problem. D2L worked with Kingston in drafting up official visa support letters, and emailed them signed versions which we told them to print (four for Vici, one for LGD). All's peachy, right? Nope. Vici Gaming comes back on the 12th saying that their initial request was denied by the embassy (well, they just don't hear back from them actually) and they think it was because we used digital versions versus a real-print version. Phew...yucky situation!
So, I immediately have Kingston overnight brand spankin' new visa support letters to both Vici and LGD's team houses (with addresses provided by both teams) with a fresh signature on each letter from one of our representatives at Kingston in the US. The letters arrive at LGD's residence, but seemingly get delayed at Vici's. I request a tracking number, get it from Kingston, and immediately see that Vici's were about a day away from arriving via FedEx (this was the 19th that we received the tracking and provided it to Vici).
Well, good news happens! By the 23rd, Vici and LGD both report that their visas have been approved and taken care of. We request they send over flight itineraries (they had not booked them yet because they hadn't gotten official approval from the embassy for the trip), and Vici does so on the very same day (the 23rd). Not too shabby, eh?
Here's where the story gets weird. Hold onto your britches...
On the 25th, D2L receives the flight itineraries of LGD. Everything seems excellent and no problems are in the air until something foul suddenly hits us! On January 1st (two days ago), we receive a message from Ruru of LGD (who is the owner of the team) saying that one of their players is "not interested in playing the D2L". We ask for clarification and she says "he doesn't want to play." This leads to a lengthy back and forth (not argumentative, just time consuming) about concerns of roster change-ups within the LGD team.
We immediately see this as a red flag, but encourage Ruru to find a ringer to replace this player (whose name I will not share). She acknowledges this and we close the conversation by requesting she return to us within 12 hours confirming whether LGD can field a team or not, and that we would be speaking with iG as a possible replacement.
At this time we immediately inform Kingston, a fellow sponsor of the LGD team, to assist in not only encouraging their participation, but to see if they can work with anyone in the region to help them out. Kingston China (the separate regional division of Kingston Technology who sponsors LGD and other Chinese teams) acknowledges our request on the early morning of the 2nd (yesterday), after having reached out to LGD, and states they received a similar response to what we learned from Ruru which was that the team was having concerns about their fifth player, and felt it was doubtful they would have a replacement.
A few hours later (still within the 12 hour window) we receive a message from Ruru stating that ACE has urged their fifth, questionable player to participate in the tournament with LGD. The only problem which remains is the player's visa. Visa?! Yes, visa. We are suddenly told, despite previously being affirmed that all was good-to-go, that this fifth and final player had still not received his visa.
12 hours passed by at this point and, as we informed Ruru previously, we needed to make a decision. Invictus Gaming, the ideal replacement, declined because of other engagements, and given the craziness of the visa situation, we knew we wouldn't have the time or luck going down through every single Chinese team seeking a replacement. We chose to pull in Team Liquid who was fortunately available to take the fourth slot of the tournament.
Fast forward to a few hours ago and we were getting bamboozled with slander about how we had avoided LGD in the process, that all was okay with LGD's visas, and that we never informed them of our decision and were cheating them out of the event! :( It was very strange to us and we were caught off guard by it given the clarity we felt we had provided everyone in the situation.
But just a few moments ago, we synced with Ruru and her husband directly. After speaking with them at length, it was acknowledged by LGD that there was a bit too much emotion running rampant and some miscommunication in their own ranks. Because of these recent events and the agreements we've come to, we have now made the decision to allow LGD to participate in the finals again, and will be welcoming them to what will surely be one of the most exciting events we've ever run here at the D2L.
Additionally, a big shoutout goes to Team Liquid who have all been absolutely awesome and patient with us in this situation. I am so very thankful for all of their cooperation. We'll be doing our best to ensure their booked flights are also reimbursed fully and properly.
TLDR: After speaking with LGD further and recognizing the situation as being a miscommunication within their own company, we feel it's most appropriate and fair to allow them to participate in the D2L Finals in Vegas. If you want a lot of dull details, see above.